Sunday, February 15, 2009

Amazon Shows Sponsored Links Above the Buy Box

I was doing some research on Shoe Merchants who sell online, so that I could reach out and introduce them to, when I searched on Rockport 7100 Men's Walking Shoes on Google. There was a link to Amazon so I figured I would see who was selling the item over there.

Here is the page that was displayed. Now I have never looked for shoes on Amazon before so this may not be new. Click on the image to see a larger version.

There is messaging at the top of the buy box that says "Customers viewing this page may be interested in this Sponsored Link" followed by the text for the sponsored link "Don't Buy Men's Rockport 7100 Shoes Until You See InsiderPricing Here!"

So it appears Amazon is being very aggressive with the placement of their sponsored ads by placing them at the top of the page above the Product Detail. 

I haven't seen this on Amazon before and it only seems to show-up when you click onto Amazon from organic search in Google, Yahoo or Microsoft Live. I couldn't get the sponsored link to show-up on media items though.

With all the concern over sponsored ads showing up on eBay listing pages, it looks like Amazon beat eBay to the punch. 

Sponsored ads are not going away and when Amazon is showing them above the product detail information on product they themselves sell, I have to ask why?

Since I'm not privy to the data, perhaps it shows that customers who click on the sponsored link still come back to purchase on Amazon and if they don't at least Amazon made some money on it.

[Thanks to Hallie over at the PeSA board, I checked into the ClickRiver aspect of these sponsored links and it looks like ClickRiver is only available for service businesses, so this program may be handled by a new department or by a 3rd party service. If you get any info please email me]

Update 2: It looks like once the visitor clicks on an Amazon site link the sponsored ad no longer shows up above the detail page. Perhaps Amazon is trying to monetize that % of visitors who link to the site and then bounce back to Google to look for something else. This would explain why the sponsored link gets such a premium placement. If it was lower on the page, the "bouncer" wouldn't see it long enough to click on it.

st my 15%


Ino Megsatwat said...

randy not related but would love your comments on this article .....................

Henrietta said...

Makes sense to me, however the single line of text at the top of the page is a far cry from the geographically targeted banner ad on the header, the cell phone ad in the left nav bar and all the text ads between pages on eBay.

Randy Smythe said...

Ino Meg...,

It is very interesting that eBay dropped substantially in that survey, it appears all metrics related to eBay are dropping these days.

I notice Zappos wan't included in the survey nor was Buy. I would love to see all of the data.

Anonymous said...

This is first time I have seen this as well. KL

AuctionWally said...

I think this is a pretty disturbing trend and I think it will continue until sellers demand that the focus of a listing be placed solely on their items.

This gives all the more reason, for each seller to at least have their own basic website as a contact point.

Jeez, is that all we are to these companies, a place for them to place a billboard for another ad?

The voice of Rodney Dangerfield is in my head is asking, "why can't I get no respect?"

Thanks for pointing this out Randy.